Island of Hope for orphans from Chennai

In frame of campaign „Heart for Sia“ in 2005 a project of building an orphanage in South Indian town Virudhunagar was started. The project „Island of Hope for orphans of Chennai“, which was co-ordinated by Světlana Kniazeva a Ivona Novomestská (now Remundová), focused on concrete help fro victims of tsunami in Indian state Tamil Nadu.

Over a million children was facing the menace of illnesses, abuses and exploitation in spring 2005. A half of the orphaned kids didn’t have a home and enough money to pay school-fees. Many of them were forced to work in provisional conditions...

The most difficult and the most important task was to find and involve local volunteers willing to co-operate with us in the long term and to spread our thoughts and projects further. During our four journeys to India we organized many workshops, lectures and courses.

The volunteers were participating very actively in several actions. They distributed information about the project among natives and they helped with drawings and then building of the orphanage. They were also very instrumental in contacts with families and communities affected by tsunami and in looking for children in greatest need. They also got down to running the orphanage and supervising the children’s free time activities.

The start of operation was in June 2006. The children were given medical care, vaccination and the orphans started to attend school. Now there’s a high-quality background for 100 kids. An integral part of the project is its integrative aspect – children of different sexes, ages and castes live side-by-side.

The orphanage building has three stories. Downstairs, there’s a kitchen and eating room. The first and the second story work as a dormitory. On the third floor, there is an educational centre with a library and computer corner. In front of the orphanage, there is a fenced yard for games, workshops and lectures. Another acquisition is a „living corner“, where the kids take care of parrots and fish.

The project „Island of Hope for orphans of Chennai“ was supported by a 2 million CZK grant from official humanitarian help of the Czech Republic.